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Cap on hospital beds

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By Newsdesk
Dumfries and West

A TEMPORARY cap has been placed on the number of beds in use at Newton Stewart Hospital as a result of long-term staff illnesses and vacancies.

The decision to limit capacity from 22 beds to 14 was made at the end of last week, with no immediate impact on services as the hospital is currently operating below this capacity.

Explaining more, general manager for community health and social care Graham Abrines said: “Due to registered nurse vacancies and long term sickness, we are currently unable to maintain adequate numbers of registered nurses to support Newton Stewart Hospital operating at full capacity.

“Having taken advice from my lead nurse and the clinical (medical) lead in the locality, we have made the decision to temporarily reduce the bed capacity from 22 to 14 beds.”

Alternate arrangements had been sought to address the temporary staffing shortage, including the use of bank staff or enlisting staff from other areas.

Ultimately, however, the decision was taken to limit capacity as a temporary measure so as to ensure patient and staff safety.

Mr Abrines said: “This decision has not been taken lightly, but we have to maintain patient and staff safety at all times.”

Newton Stewart Hospital typically runs with available capacity, but contingency plans are in place to accommodate any patients at other locations should this be necessary.

Arrangements will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and will be formally reviewed during the week commencing June 4.

Dumfries and West

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